Meeting for the first time since the 2013 NLCS, the Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals were locked in a pitcher’s duel with the first, and only, run of of the game coming in the eighth inning.
Adam Wainwright took the ball for the Cardinals and carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning. To that point, Wainwright was just one walk away from having a perfect game. Miguel Rojas broke up the no-hitter with a leadoff single, but Wainwright otherwise continued to stifle the Dodger offense.
With Wainwright in dominant form, pressure was placed on Josh Beckett to similarly limit the Cardinals’ offense. Beckett did just that, holding the Cardinals to four hits in seven shutout innings.
It was another strong outing in what’s been a successful season for the Dodger right-hander, but following the win, Beckett deflected praise for his performance, according to an AP report on ESPN LA:
I knew it was going to be tough, but I don’t think I deserve very much of the credit,” Beckett said. “My defense really picked me up tonight, and we got a late run off of a pretty tough pitcher.”
In particular, Beckett received a big boost from Matt Kemp, who threw out Allen Craig at home plate in the seventh inning. Beckett wasn’t credited with a win, but did manage to lower his ERA to 2.11 and is 5-4 this season. Dating back to his no-hitter, Beckett’s ERA is 1.34 over seven starts.
Along with being on pace to set a new season-low ERA mark, Beckett’s current WHIP is 1.00, which is a personal best since he won 13 games with the Boston Red Sox in 2011.
It’s been a renaissance season for Beckett, who was shutdown last year after undergoing surgery to treat thoracic outlet syndrome. Beckett had a rib removed as part of the procedure and what he was going to be able to contribute this season was largely unknown.
Part of his transformation has included relying more heavily on his breaking ball at the behest of A.J. Ellis. At 34-years-old and making over $15 million in the final year of his contract, Beckett has been a reliable option for the Dodgers at the backend of the rotation.
PHOTOS: Josh Beckett’s No-Hitter